Archive for April, 2011

Saddlers 2 Charlton 0

roger6 @ 7:27 pm Saturday 30 April 2011

Walsall are taking the fight down to the final day after a superb victory over Charlton summed up on the message board by Latvian Cheese:

Well that was fantastic.

Very lucky to not have conceded in the first half, but then again they could have been three down. Many many candidates for MOTM today, everyone played well. Richards played far far better than recently, and even Taundry had a solid game(when he wasnt thinking).

We played good football, passed it nicely, and for once, had spells of dominance in the midfield. Cooks shot that hit the bar deserved a goal. However our goal appeared to come from a Will Grigg sliced shot from a rebound. Who cares

Walker – Did what he had to do, nearly gifted the opposition a goal dwelling on the ball.
Taundry – Much better from him ,gave the ball away a few times but the crowds reaction when he makes a mistake is far larger than any one else. He made some great tackles.
Butler – He got the MOTM award and he was solid throughout.
Lancashire – Same as Butler.
Williams – He was much improved for me too, he put some tackles in and he cant half whip a ball.

Cook – This lads future is definitely higher than us, he can run, he can pass, he can dribble, he can shoot. He just needs to know when to do what more regularly. Close for MOTM imho.
Richards – Superb on the ball, did his bit defensively.
Laird – Also could have had MOTM, he was everywhere.
Gray – Top game from him too.

Macken – Took all those negative comments from earlier in the season lately, and hes shoved them back in the face of many fans. He is as indispensable as Butler.
Grigg- Ran his socks off and grabbed a goal, he played well.

Subs
Byfield – Pretty good, should have had a goal.
Nicholls – Not much impact.

A note on Dean Smith too, tactically he was spot on today, playing the wingers on their opposite wings caused them problems, plus it enabled us to keep possession and have more shots on goal. Which he had obviously given them free reign over, as we were pinging shots in from all over the place.

Oh and the linesmen were the worst I’ve seen for a long time.

The message board also contains all the result combinations Walsall need to ensure survival.

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Walsall vs Charlton Athletic Preview

Neil @ 3:46 pm Friday 29 April 2011

If ever the people of Walsall needed to get up off their collective backsides and get down to the Banks’s Stadium, then it surely is this weekend.

If the Saddlers are going to avoid having to go into the final fixture, away at Southampton, needing something, then a win on Saturday at home to Charlton is imperative.

That is thrown into perspective when you look at the other fixtures of the teams at the bottom. Dagenham have a reasonable home fixture against Carlisle, then Peterborough away and Bristol Rovers have a winnable home game against Sheffield Wednesday, followed by a tough one away at Colchester, so it’s difficult to see either of them getting more than three points from those. .Plymouth, needing one more win than the other two in order to catch us, have Exeter away, Southampton at home and Orient at home. Two wins is the most I can see them getting, leaving us safe, if we can achieve a double over Charlton.

Dean Smith will be missing the services of Ledesma (suspended), MacDonald (injured) and, it seems, Lescott (injured). With the need for a win and, therefore, to score, that suggests either a 4 4 2, or a 4 4 1 1, with Jon Macken being the pivotal figure up front.

Charlton have greater selection problems, despite Kyel Reid and Scott Wagstaff returning to the squad.
Reid is available after missing Monday’s win over Rochdale through suspension and fellow winger Wagstaff has recovered from a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Jose Semedo is still banned after his dismissal against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, while skipper Christian Dailly’s season came to a premature end three weeks ago courtesy of a five-match suspension for his third red card of the campaign.

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot is fit after a knee injury but Millwall loanee John Sullivan looks to have done enough to keep his place.

Winger Johnnie Jackson is back in training after an Achilles injury but is unlikely to be risked while full-back Kelly Youga (knee) and striker Joe Anyinsah (ankle) are still out.

Predictions?

Predictions don’t matter. Although it is conceivable that two defeats would still see us safe, a win would ease the worries considerably. It is the only result we can hope for.

Down to the wire: Oldham 1 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 9:15 pm Monday 25 April 2011

A potentially devastating equaliser today from 10-man Oldham has put the Saddlers dangerously close to the relegation trap door just when it seemed hope was emerging. The Saddlers now sit 1 point outside the drop zone but with the last match away at high-flying Southampton, Dean Smith knows his men must pick up 3 points at home to Charlton this weekend.

Belgian Saddler offers these thoughts via the message board:

Absolutely gutted. Yet again a match we should have won. Two golden chances in the first half with Macken and Gray through one on one. Can’t blame the players for effort, they gave their all. Oldham were hopeless and there for the taking. Jubilation when we scored and really couldn’t see any other result than a win for us, especially when they went down to 10 men. For the life of I can’t understand the Patterson substitution. Nothing against the kid but why take the massively frustrating Cook off and bring someone even more lightweight on when we were trying to close the game down? I assume Gbrassin was on the bench? Cook yet again spent the entire game beating a man and then losing it to the next one. Three points were so close today and they would have been MOSSIVE. As it is that late goal could well send us down. Still in it, but still gutted tonight

Brilliant support, very loud.

Walsall 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

roger6 @ 9:41 am Sunday 24 April 2011

A point rather than three, and it is going down to the wire – 3 games to go. Latvian Cheese was at the game and offered these thoughts via the message board:

Just got in, cracking game to be fair, fair result at the end really. Played some nice stuff, but we also fanny about with the ball needlessly. And why was Gbarssin playing? we were so powderpuff in the middle, Laird is hopeless defensivly. Could have won, could have lost. I think we are down now, but we’re goin down fighting.

We huffed, we puffed, we didnt go very far but we gave em a fight. Sheff Wed are decent but they are so one dimensional.

Walker – Solid as ever, thought his save was weak for the goal, palmed it straight out but probably re deemed himself.
Westlake – Mmmmm okay. Stupid booking.
Buter – Same as every week.
Lancashire – same as every week.
Williams – Is alright, solid enough but has the thinking speed of a donkey.

Taundry – positional sense of a hedgehog, but today i thought we was decent all round, and chased, as usual lol.
Laird – Fancy pansy, is alright i guess but wasnt too impressed. Rather play Gbarssin.
Richards – Overall shoddy again today, still looked good in spells. Ticks it over.
Gray – Quiet, they stifled him.

Macken – Motm by a funky mile, ran himself into the floor, only player who creates anything, how some people like pedagogue say hes useless is beyond me.
Cook – Cracking player, a bit rough but the difference between him and someone like nicholls is astonishing. To me he should of had a penalty, ref gave freekick.

Subs
Byfield – Good control, didnt have much time to make impact though.
Nicholls – Useless dirge of a footballer.

Ref was pretty guano i thought. Tried to let the game flow though. Linesmen were blind ,as usual!

Walsall vs Sheffield Wednesday Preview

Neil @ 1:37 pm Friday 22 April 2011

There has been some talk from the club captain that seven points from our remaining games will see us safe, presumably working on the 50 point safety mark. Personally, with the tough prospect of an away trip to the St Mary’s on the last day of the season, I’d rather see us try and make sure of winning the other three fixtures. They are all winnable, being Charlton at home, Oldham away and, tomorrow, Sheffield Wednesday at home.

Dean Smith will have some selection problems. We still don’t know if Aaron Lescott will have recovered from his injury. If he hasn’t, it will be a straightforward choice between Westlake and Taundry (who did improve second half against Brighton). Clayton MacDonald is out for the rest of the season and either Lancashire (probably) or Smith will step in.

The other absentee is Ledesma, who is now only going to be available for the Southampton game, following his unlucky red card last week. (Only unlucky in that he was trying to win the ball, that is, the ref had no choice but to send him off). He was only likely to be used as an impact player, though.

That leaves a likely line up of:

Walker, Westlake, Lancashire, Butler, Williams, Cook, Laird, Gbarssin, Richards, Grey, Macken.

Of course, there is also the possibility of him playing two strikers and leaving one of he midfielders out.

Sheffield Wednesday will be boosted by the return to contention of Reda Johnson, while Tommy Miller is also expected to be available.

Central defender Johnson missed out last week due to a groin injury, but will be available and midfielder Miller, who sustained an ankle injury in Saturday’s home win over Hartlepool, has also proved his fitness.

Johnson’s return is a boost for manager Gary Megson, who will be without fellow centre-half Mark Beevers for the rest of the season due to a fractured cheekbone.

Giles Coke and Darren Potter are both pushing for recalls to the starting line-up, while Megson must decide whether to start with Neil Mellor up front alongside Gary Madine or opt for Clinton Morrison, who started last week on the substitutes’ bench.

Megson has no new injury or suspension problems as the Owls chase their first away league win in four attempts.

Predictions?

It’s do or die. They have won 6, drawn 3 and lost 12 (actually more than us) away from Hillsborough and, hopefully, will have their minds on the beach now they are safe. Home win.

Walsall vs Brighton And Hove Albion Preview

Neil @ 1:01 pm Friday 15 April 2011

You know, nothing has given me greater pleasure over the years than spoiling other people’s promotion parties – I seem to remember Rod McDonald and Ian McParland both having fun for us at another teams expense – let’s hope for more of the same tomorrow, even if the task is a huge one as Brighton try and clinch the Championship.

Dean Smith’s only doubt is Aaron Lescott, which is a shame in view of his improved form immediately before his injury. Certainly right back is a problem area, as Westlake has been showing the strain, as you might expect from a youngster, and Taundry proved on Tuesday night that he’s not the answer.

The positive thing is that Smith’s signings all seem to be making positive contributions at the moment and each one has contributed something to the great escape attempt.

As for Gus Poyet’s men, Gordon Greer and Jim McNulty are the only absentees for Brighton as they attempt to seal the League One title.

The Seagulls clinched promotion with five games to spare in a thrilling 4-3 win over Dagenham on Tuesday night and Poyet has no new injury worries.

Skipper Greer serves the second game of his four-match ban for his second red card of the season against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. Tommy Elphick returned at centre-half in Greer’s absence and should keep his place. Full-back McNulty is still recovering from ankle surgery and will not figure again this season.

Albion will be crowned champions with a victory or if second-placed Southampton fail to better their result at home to Bristol Rovers.

Predictions?

Brighton’s away record is the best in the Division, as they have won 10, drawn 5 and lost just 5 on their travels. That means they have gained a point more than Huddersfield have on the road. In those 20 games, they have only scored 26 goals, but have conceded a paltry 15. By contrast, our home record, while vastly improved since the departure of Hutchings, is won 8, drawn 2 and lost 10, scoring just 29 goals (and almost half of those were in three games!). Logically, we have no chance, but that’s what the Saints fans thought!

Walsall 3-2 Brentford: Out of the zone!

Exile @ 9:41 pm Tuesday 12 April 2011

Walsall picked up a vital 3 points tonight and are out of the relegation zone! Full report to follow.

Meanwhile here’s a poll!


Will we stay up? Do you believe?
  • Yes (72%, 252 Votes)
  • No (28%, 99 Votes)

Total Voters: 351

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Vote for a Walsall goal of the month!

Exile @ 8:56 pm Monday 11 April 2011

A quick plug for Jason Wellings, whose apprentice goal at Burnley is up for the League Football Education goal of the month competition.

Please take time to visit the link: link here and vote for Jason – Goal F. He’s only a few votes behind the Portsmouth lad so let’s give them a run for their money!

Plymouth 2 Walsall 0

roger6 @ 7:39 pm Saturday 09 April 2011

A bad day in the south west today as the Saddlers slumped two nil at Plymouth to remain in the relegation zone ahead of a massive 3 home games in succession. With 6 games to go including the leaders Brighton, newly-2-year-installed boss Dean Smith has got his work cut out, but the fans will be right behind him. Match reaction on the message board will arrive from those who were there as soon as they can negotiate the hell-hole that is the a30/M5 on the journey back.

Plymouth Argyle vs Walsall Preview

Neil @ 11:11 am Friday 08 April 2011

Must win game, blah, blah, have to keep Plymouth in the mire, blah, blah – it seems that I could write the same introduction to every game at the moment!

The Saddlers’ survival hopes have been boosted over our enforced absence form the fixture list by the teams around us slowly frittering away their games in hand advantages. Granted, Sheffield Wednesday and Oldham are probably now safe (unless Oldham’s financial difficulties have an effect), and Yeovil have put some daylight between them and the bottom, but Notts County and Tranmere are now deep in the doggy doo doos and Bristol Rovers and Swindon have now contrived to play a game more than we have. Still, four wins or three wins and two draws from the last seven fixtures, which should see us safe, is not going to be easy to get.

We have also been given the boost of the news that Dean Smith will be sitting down with Jon Whitney and Chris Nicholl to discuss permanent roles for them in the management team. I, for one, think that the lack of use of Nicholl’s wealth of experience has been one of the club’s big mistakes in recent years (assuming he was ready to take up a role, of course) and this, if it comes off, can only be a good thing.

The Saddlers have only one doubt for the fixture, in the shape of Aaron Lescott, as he recovers from his injury, but even he could well be fit – a fully fit and rested squad is yet another benefit of Brentford’s Wembley appearance last week.

As for Plymouth, Rory Fallon has been ruled out with a recurrence of a groin injury.
The absence of the New Zealand international leaves manager Peter Reid desperately short of attacking options. Reid will choose from Joe Mason, Rory Patterson and, possibly, in-form winger Yannick Bolasie, who played as an out-and-out forward earlier this season. There could even be a first call-up to a matchday squad for 19-year-old striker Liam Head. The former England under-16 international has scored a goal in each of the last two reserve team matches.

Argyle captain Carl Fletcher is also rated as 50-50 by Reid for the game because of a foot injury and versatile midfielder Chris Clark is still sidelined by the medial knee ligament injury he suffered in the 1-0 home defeat by Rochdale on March 19.

On the plus side, Jim Paterson has recovered from a bout of bronchitis and is set to play at left-back and midfielder Kari Arnason returns from a two-match suspension after being booked 10 times this season. With that record, the clash between him and the man mountain known as Gbarssin should be interesting!

Predictions?

A draw wouldn’t be disastrous, but a win is needed. That’s the message – go for the win, but don’t be gung ho.

Congratulations, by the way, to our League ever present, Matt Richards, who will be playing his 40th league game of the season tomorrow.

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